The Coursework

You can begin the Certificate in CX and UX Research at the start of any semester in the calendar year (Winter, Spring, Summer or Fall), and complete the required 13.5 credits in about 10 months.

The master course in CX and UX Research (SOCI 520) is offered twice per year. Students also take courses in Survey Research and Interviews and Focus Groups, and they chose between courses on Special Topics in Experience Management and Human Computer Interaction. They complete their program with a portfolio-building course entitled Customer and User Experience Project.

Required Courses (10.5 credits)

SOCI 520 Customer and User Experience Research

Most large companies use Customer and User Experience Research to gain insights about their customer experience and the usability of their products, platforms and services. The key to excelling in this work is to understand people and this is why social science training is an asset for job seekers in these fields. This course will cover the language, logic and practices employed by market researchers to study human experiences of various kinds, such as customer, user, employee and brand experience. Industry relevant readings will focus on the ways that organizations can harness the power of knowledge about the customer journey and other human experiences to achieve their goals. They will also learn about many of the methods Customer and User Experience Researchers employ such as traditional techniques like survey research and focus groups, but also many newer strategies like diary/camera studies, card sorting and desirability studies. Students will be trained to add value both to for-profit organizations for maximizing return on investment as well as non-profits for enhancing community, changing social policies or delivering public services. Developing a customer centric mission is a key objective of most modern organizations. By taking this course students will learn to use research to achieve that objective in an evidence-based fashion (3 credits)

SOCI 538 Survey Research

The use of surveys to measure attitudes, behaviors and program outcomes has become widespread in business, research, marketing, politics, and media. In this class, students will learn how to write surveys, collect data, and present survey results for applied research projects. Course topics will include identifying variables, conceptualization, index and scale construction, visual questionnaire presentation, piloting, testing for validity and reliability, and survey administration. Under the guidance of the professor, students will be trained to construct and pilot their own questionnaires (3 credits)

SOCI 569 Interviews and Focus Groups

This course introduces students to a wide array of qualitative research methods. In the class, students will be exposed to typical qualitative research techniques such as in-depth interviews, ethnographies, focus groups and content analysis. The main components of this course are 1) designing ethnographies 2) conducting in-depth interviews 3) designing focus groups 4) interpreting, tabulating and reporting qualitative data. The course will also focus on coding techniques and writing and reporting qualitative findings (3 credits)

SOCI 592 Customer and User Experience Project

This course is the capstone to the Graduate Certificate in Customer and User Experience Research. It is an opportunity for students to build upon what they have learned in their prior coursework by putting it to use in the preparation of a project. Students will choose their own area of strength and interest in Customer or User Experience Research, and then prepare a prospectus for a new project that will yield results capable of helping an organization make an evidence based decision. Examples might include the design of a longitudinal customer feedback study, a focus group analysis or a user experience journal. When possible, the student might partner with a client organization to make the work more industry relevant and useful (1.5 credits)

Choose 1 of the following Elective Courses (3 credits)

SOCI 586 Special Topics in Experience Management

An organization’s Experience Management program encompasses the full scope of its research on the customer journey across products, services and platforms. Students in this course will learn about cutting edge strategies that companies use to integrate and manage wide ranging feedback loops for sharing information with teams and making evidence-based decisions. As industry trends change and new strategies evolve, the course content will adapt to reflect what is currently happening in the fields of Customer and User Experience Research (3 credits)

CSIT 535 Human Computer Interaction*

Course content will include science-based theories, models, and studies; and user interface design and development. Graphical user interfaces for desktop, web, and mobile devices. Assess usability by quantitative and qualitative methods. Conduct task analyses, usability tests, expert reviews, and continuing assessments of working products by interviews, surveys, and logging. Apply design processes and guidelines to develop professional quality user interfaces. Build low-fidelity paper mockups, and a high-fidelity prototype using contemporary tools and programming environments (3 credits)

*Depending on your experience, a course in Java Programming (CSIT 501) may be required before taking this optional course